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March 13, 2018, Council Consent Calendar Comments - Jim Mosher Page 2 of 4 <br />SECTION 1. <br />Section 30700 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read: <br />30700. <br />For purposes of this division, notwithstanding any other provisions of this division except as <br />specifically stated in this chapter, this chapter shall govern those portions of the Ports of <br />Hueneme, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and San Diego Unified Port District located <br />within the coastal zone, but excluding any wetland, estuary, or existing recreation area <br />indicated in Part IV of the coastal plan. <br />The existing concept of "Ports" under the Coastal Act, which AB 2464 is not proposing to change, <br />therefore seems fundamentally inconsistent with Newport Harbor's vision of itself as a recreational <br />harbor, not an existing hub of maritime commerce. Even if that were not a problem, it would seem <br />to me someone would have to define the geographic limits of the "Port of Newport Beach" before <br />creating a Master Plan for it — something AB 2464 fails to address. <br />And while despite the exclusion of existing recreational areas, several existing Port Master Plans <br />appear to include provisions for local permitting of recreational uses, the stated purpose of the <br />plans in the Public Resources Code is to confine the inevitable environmental impacts of <br />commercial shipping and fishing activity to a limited set of already -impacted areas: <br />Section 30701 Legislative finding and declaration <br />The Legislature finds and declares that: <br />(b) The location of the commercial port districts within the State of California, including the <br />Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District, are well established, and for many <br />years such areas have been devoted to transportation and commercial, industrial, and <br />manufacturing uses consistent with federal, state and local regulations. Coastal planning <br />requires no change in the number or location of the established commercial port districts. <br />Existing ports, including the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District, shall <br />be encouraged to modernize and construct necessary facilities within their boundaries in order <br />to minimize or eliminate the necessity for future dredging and filling to create new ports in new <br />areas of the state. <br />In pursuing a Harbor Master Plan, is the Council knowing asking that Newport Harbor be added to <br />the list of "established commercial" ports available for landing oil tankers and container ships? Or, <br />is it recklessly throwing taxpayer money after a pipe dream of local recreational autonomy, without <br />understanding the consequences of what it is asking? <br />The myth of Newport Beach as the obvious shipping port for Orange County dates from the earliest <br />developers imagining a "New Port" to rival Wilmington and Anaheim Landing (near Seal Beach), <br />and a myth rekindled as shown in the following part of a plan from 1917 for redirecting the Santa <br />Ana River out of the harbor and establishing County wharfs at the foot of what is now Newport <br />Boulevard — culminating in a successful countywide 1919 bond measure campaign to fund the <br />improvements: <br />